UPDATE: Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer Steps Down
Andrew Scheer says it was a touch decision to step down as the leader of the Conservative party.
He told his causut Thursday morning that he will step down when a new leader is chosen.
The decision comes less than two months after a disappointing election result and after weeks of Conservative infighting about whether he should have a future as the head of the party.
Scheer was elected as the party leader in May 2017, barely beating Maxime Bernier in the contest.
University of Windsor Political Science Professor Lydia Miljan says there was some pressure on Scheer to step down and because he has announced he will do so, the focus now turns to selecting a new leader.
"That's actually a good thing for a party such as the Conservatives," says Miljan. "Because it allows them to fully reassess the performance in the last election campaign but also find a way to find a leader who can better connect with Canadians to defeat the Liberals."
Miljan expected Scheer to resign prior to the party's leadership review, happening in April, adding "It's surprising but not surprising because the pressure was on for him to step down," she says.
Miljan feels Rona Ambrose could be a potential replacement, along with Peter McKay or John Baird.
The Conservatives held the Liberals to a minority government in the federal election in October.